Vegetarian moussaka mini towers

Moussaka doesn't need any recommendations. You just eat it and love it. Either with eggplants, potatoes or even zucchini, few people can resist to it.

A couple of years ago a friend of mine asked me if I could make a vegetarian version of moussaka. So, I tried it for the first time and it turned out to be delicious. Since then I've repeated this recipe many times, experimenting with different ingredients and spices.

A black plate with a vegetarian moussaka mini tower

My vegetarian moussaka mini towers recipe is the lighter and -visually speaking- the most creative version. It's made with eggplants and potatoes, combined with tomato sauce and creamy homemade béchamel sauce. The eggplants are baked in the oven, the potatoes are simply boiled and the béchamel is butter-free. So, not only it is a vegetarian dish, but also it's a healthier way to enjoy moussaka; while the mini towers presentation creates a playful look.

So, for those who have time and patience here is my recipe for 8 mini towers:

For the tomato sauce:
150 ml of tomato juice
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 fresh onions
1 dry onion
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons of red wine
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of orange juice
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
peel from orange
salt
sweet paprika
pepper

For the béchamel sauce:
400 ml of semi-skimmed milk
100 gr of flour
100 gr of hard grated cheese (I use kefalotyri)
1 egg yolk


For the rest:
2 big eggplants
2 big potatoes
1/3 water glass of olive oil
1 tablespoon of dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon of hard grated cheese


Ingredients for the recipe: eggplants, potatoes, onions, olive oil, ground cheese, milk, flour, egg and spices
Preparation:

1. Wash the potatoes and boil them unpeeled in a deep pot for 30 minutes. When they are ready, let them cold, peel them and cut them into fine slices.
2. Cut the eggplants into 1 cm thick slices. With a basting brush spread on both sides of the slices some olive oil and add some salt. Bake them in the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes, until they are soft.

Tomato sauce:
1. Chop the garlic, the dry and the fresh onions. 
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small pan and add the garlic and the onions. Saute them for 3-4 minutes. Add salt, freshly ground pepper, sweet paprika to taste and stir
3. Add the wine, lower the heat and continue to stir for 2 more minutes.
4. Add the tomato sauce, the cinnamon stick, the cloves and the orange peel, as well as a few drops of fresh orange juice, and the sugar and stir.
5. Let the tomato sauce cook over low heat for 45 minutes.

Béchamel sauce:
1. Heat the milk in a deep pan.
2. Start adding the flour slowly using a sieve and stir continuously.
3. Once the flour is dissolved, add the cheese and stir slowly until it becomes creamy.
4. Remove the pan from the heat. Add salt and pepper.
5. Beat slightly the egg yolk and pour it slowly into the béchamel, stirring continuously for a couple of minutes. 

And now comes the fun part. Start building the towers with one slice of potato, one slice of eggplant, some tomato sauce and cheese. Repeat but this time add some béchamel on the top. Add one more potato slice with some tomato sauce and one eggplant slice with some tomato sauce. Finally pour some béchamel sauce, allowing it to fall around. Add a bit of dry breadcrumbs and grated cheese on the top.

Bake them in the oven at 180°C for 45 minutes. 

Building the moussaka tower step 1: one slice of potato, one slice of eggplant above and tomato sauce and cheese on top
Building the moussaka tower step 2: one more slice of potato and one of eggplant and some bechamel on top

Building the moussaka tower step 3: one more slice of potato and eggplant above and tomato sauce on top

Building the moussaka tower step 4: bechamel cream on top of the moussaka tower
A black plate with a vegetarian moussaka mini tower







2 comments:

  1. Excelent!! I was planing to make a mussaka this weekend and I will try this one.
    You should also post the original mussaka recipee too however!! Please please please...

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your feedback! I will definitely post the original one too, promise. :)

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